My First Time Listening to Pink Floyd's "The Wall"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by raq0915, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    I can still vividly remember the first time I heard it. I got it for Christmas of 1979. I was 17 years old. My mom would have us open one present Christmas Eve, and she always put aside an album for me to open, preferably something like The Wall--a double album, so that it would keep me entertained as I anxiously awaited Christmas morning.

    For me, The Wall has a perfect balance of a lot of different elements, and as a huge progressive rock fan, I loved how proggy it was, with the story running through it, with such a wide range of musical styles, etc. I liked how polished-sounding it was--it's almost like Steely Floyd in a way, and I liked how funky it was at times. It's also very heavy at times--"In the Flesh?" starts things off almost like we're in Sabbath territory. It gets pleasantly outside at times, as with "Don't Leave Me Now". And I love the proggy grandeur, intricateness, and the "we-don't-give-a-crap-if-this-is-even-remotely-rock-oriented-anymore" left turn of stuff like "The Trial".

    I don't always nominate The Wall as my #1 Floyd album, but maybe I should. Certainly when I listen to it I think that it's perfection, but then again, I think the same thing when I listen to a lot of other Floyd, too. I more often list Animals as my favorite Floyd album. There's a weird, "dark" quality to that album (I'm thinking primarily musically, though certainly the lyrics contribute to it as well) that really appeals to me. The Wall has that dark quality slightly, too, but it's like the Broadway version of it (which isn't a bad thing in my book).

    (Sandinista! was my Christmas Eve 1980 album, and I love that as well . . . I think sometimes that first hearing them on Christmas Eve gives them extra nostalgic weight for me. The Song Remains the Same was my Christmas Eve 1976 album, for example, and in some ways I still love that more than any other live Zeppelin, although in its case, the film had a lot to do with that, too.)
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    penguinzzz and LivingForever like this.
  2. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Yeah. I got the album for Christmas in the year of the release, and I put it on the stereo loud. That helicopter was amazing. :)
  3. tmoore

    tmoore Forum Resident

    Olney, MD
    May have posted this earlier in the thread. As of this writing (at age 50 years and 9 months) I still have not listened to this album.
    I have it, and will listen to it eventually. But it must not be a high priority because I'm always listening to something else.
    ToneLa likes this.
  4. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Zack Island
    I consider the lead-single 'Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2' as nearly disco-like.
    Originally the song would've been a short one as Part 1 and 3 are, but obviously Bob Ezrin wanted this song as a single so there was the idea of repeating the verse and throwing in some guitar solo and stuff.

    Funny enough there was a track called 'Death Disco' which was left off the album but its lyrics were took over to the reprise version of 'In The Flesh'.
    Reportedly the omitted track contained repeated guitar riffs from 'Young Lust'.
  5. The_Windmill

    The_Windmill Forum Resident

    AFAIK, the solo was supposed to be there. Ezrin added the repetition of verse/chorus and most importantly the kids choir
    andrewskyDE likes this.
  6. rod sphere

    rod sphere Forum Resident

    San Jose, CA, USA
    by the time the wall came out...listening to it then...i knew it was over....and close affiliation with Pink Floyd was over.....bombastic and over ego-ized and a double on top of me....animals was the last one that had any of my attention......but maybe cuz in the 80' that time..i was not following......others..younger than me..and who didn't or couldn't or wouldn't know the difference.......accepted it as ........but......for me..pretenscious and over-bearing and boring....none rock and roll....of course..when has pink floyd ever been about rock n didn't make sense....maybe it's back to being so long and tired and about "something" and blah blah finality...not even in their top 4 or 5...floyd-wise...
    ToneLa likes this.
  7. M.R.Collins

    M.R.Collins Well-Known Member

    Dallas, TX
    I was 7 when this album came out, it didn't get big radio play until 1980, the way music was discovered back then. As a young kid the song I could relate to was Another Brick In The Wall (We don't need no education) it was catchy and something the youth could rally behind. We owned the vinyl and listened but I really didn't appreciate it until the late 80's early 90's. My late teens and early 20's. It was my gateway into Pink Floyd. My favorite Pink Floyd albums are WYWH, DSOTM and The Wall. Every time I listen to any of these albums I say this is the best album until I listen to one of the other three. I also recommend The Division Bell and The Endless River.

    The great thing about Pink Floyd is they appeal to many different age groups of people. I suspect the early psychedelic stuff appeals to boomers, the 3 I mentioned appeals to the hippies and the later stuff appeals to Gen X and Gen Y. I know this is a generalization but all can find some Pink Floyd they like. But, going by David Gilmour and Roger Waters performances It seems like the top 3 albums were WYWH, DSOTM and TW.

    I would recommend if you are a fan to see either in concert while you still have a chance, they aren't getting any younger. I did see The Division Bell tour in concert in Dallas. A great experience and no regrets!!
    Hymie the Robot likes this.
  8. rrbbkk

    rrbbkk Forum Resident

    THE WALL is twice as long as it needs to be. There's a single LP of really high quality stuff on it fleshed out with another LP of mediocre filler. It came out during a recession in which record companies were particularly suffering and encouraging their biggest acts to make double LPs (Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac). It sold 30 million copies so the market has spoken but I'd love to hear it pared down. Maybe I'll put it together myself and see...
    ToneLa likes this.
  9. ToneLa

    ToneLa Forum Resident

    Don't crucify me... But I don't like the Wall too much. My main complaint is it sounds a bit indulgent and flabbier musically than it needs to be. (I'm sure to some Syd's era sounded indulgent, but I'd explain this by Waters' writing sometimes seeming a bit contrived as opposed to inspired, which is negative if the music shows it. A basic word to explain this, perhaps, is ego)

    I'm a Syd guy, and the Wall seemed a bit far from what I love most about Floyd: in a nutshell Waters' designs and ideas sometimes fall a bit flat with me, and the longer they went on, the more later albums were built around that. However, there's certainly some good songs, and I've been caught many a time singing around the house, Teacher leave them kids alone!

    I can admire it on many levels, but liking it is a different animal.

    I remember at school, seeing some graffiti saying the album rules. So it definitely reached some other schoolkids back then in a big way :)

    For reference, I'm 34, so a wretched millennial :( my favourite Floyd albums are:

    Obscured by Clouds
    Atom Heart Mother
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  10. quicksilverbudie

    quicksilverbudie quicksilverbudie

    U need to add "Wish You Were Here" which is my fav BTW> and Meddle :sigh:

  11. ToneLa

    ToneLa Forum Resident

    They're alright.


  12. hyde park

    hyde park Forum Resident

    Flossmoor, IL, USA
    When I was in 4th grade (1982) - I remember walking around my school with a friend, right before school started and the teachers were classrooms, with a small boom box blasting Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2. It was nice day and so all the window were open -- it may have been my first act of civil disobedience...
    andrewskyDE likes this.
  13. Sytze

    Sytze Forum Resident

    And it has been re-used on Kate Bush' 'Hounds of Love'. The credits acknowledge The Wall for it.
  14. sunking101

    sunking101 Forum Resident

    I like the album but have never understood why people rate it (and WYWH) above DSOTM. The latter is a perfect album from start to finish whereas the rest all had bloat/songs that outstay their welcome/filler.
  15. dividebytube

    dividebytube Forum Resident

    Grand Rapids, MI
    Back when I was a teenager I hung out with two ex-cheerleaders turned stoners. We watched the Wall many, many times while uh, drinking tea.

    I really can't remember the first time I listened to the Wall since it was in the family collection of records. So no "ah ha" moment for me, since it was always there (at least until age 10 or so).

    But after a while I got sick of the album, turning to different musical pursuits. So I went a good decade or two without hearing it all until I bought a copy last year. It's a very cinema-sque experience with some great songs but a few middlings. I prefer Animals or DSOM for my PF fix.
    andrewskyDE likes this.
  16. Runicen

    Runicen Forum Resident

    I wouldn't rank The Wall above Dark Side of the Moon, but I would definitely place Wish You Were Here above it. While there are loads of good albums in the Floyd canon, WYWH is the "bulls eye" for me. Nothing else squarely hits what makes the band great and encapsulates so much of their strength in one place to me. The extended suites that never fall prey to feeling like noodling, the emotional resonance, the aggression, the atmosphere, and Rick Wright actually being featured as an instrumentalist. What's not to like?

    Obviously, your mileage may vary, but you did say you didn't understand why someone would make this ranking. :D
  17. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    I think you have to accept that we each have our own experiences and emotional connections with our music. Meaning, we're not often able to dismiss pure personal emotion to view everything objectively. It's a personal journey. The Final Cut is my favorite Floyd album. Then The Wall, Animals, Dark Side and Wish You Were Here. The tone, lyrics, and magnificent cinematic canvas of Final Cut is monumental. The Wall trails off on Side 3, but overall is a real rock opera. Animals is a late night favorite of mine.

    Still, there's no right answer, just personal opinion.
    Runicen, andrewskyDE and sunking101 like this.
  18. Frozensoda

    Frozensoda Forum Resident

    Even Run Like Hell has a little disco kick to it.
    andrewskyDE likes this.
  19. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Sorry but I have heard about the disco comparison on this album, but when I listen to it (at least one thousand times) disco is the last thing I think of. Personally I think it's a reach, especially Run Like Hell. I was listening to Donna Summer yesterday and I remembered thinking, this sounds nothing like The Wall, after the post "correcting" my opinion.
    M.R.Collins likes this.
  20. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    My first introduction to the album was from my uncle's original vinyl that I some how ended up with. But really got into it after watching the movie on a super nice system when I was fifteen or sixteen. Still like it just as much to this day. One of those great high school memories of the early eighties.
    andrewskyDE and M.R.Collins like this.
  21. It took me a really long time to get into "The Wall", and I must say that still have a strange relationship with it since I don't hate it by any means, but not a huge fan either. When "Another Brick In The Wall Part II" became a radio hit in 1979, I was strictly into happy and/or heavy sounding rock/pop stuff. I didn't like the song and wondered why people seemed to like it that much. I went to one of the many record stores that used to exist in my town, where you could hear short fragments of each cut played by whoever was behind the counter (since brand-new records weren't sealed here), and my impression was even worse. Later, I wanted to see the movie. But it was never commercially shown here, and only a film society held a private screening. Not even video rental stores carried it.

    My perception changed when I saw the Roger Waters' Berlin Wall concert in 1990. To me, it was (and still is) the biggest rock show ever staged on Earth. I had no idea about how was "The Wall" live, and that show really impressed me. That made my curiosity to return and, in 1990, finding the movie for rental wasn't difficult at all. Now, I'm not going to say that I deeply fell in love with the film, but it made me understand what was this thing about. And made me appreciate it.

    Actually, I just bought my first ever copy of the original studio album a few months ago. I bought the Berlin Wall double LP as son as it was released in my country, and the "Is There Anybody Out There?" deluxe set is one of my very early online purchases. But I was never interested in the original album.

    My "problem" with this album is: Its high points are REALLY high, but it has lots of "musical rambling" to me. Anyway, and although I can't count myself as one of the biggest fans of "The Wall", I certainly learned to appreciate it over time. And I'm happy to have it in my collection.

    BTW (to the OP), since you are new to the album, you probably don't know about this:

    Runicen, andrewskyDE and Frozensoda like this.
  22. tmoore

    tmoore Forum Resident

    Olney, MD
    I'm not following this statement at all -- The Wall didn't come out until late 1979, so it couldn't/wouldn't have gotten much airplay before 1980.

    Just to clarify my earlier post -- I have not heard the entire album as of yet, but certain songs ("Another Brick In the Wall Pt. 2" and "Hey You", in particular) I have heard since 1980.
  23. M.R.Collins

    M.R.Collins Well-Known Member

    Dallas, TX
    Not sure what you don't get. I was born in 1972 so Was 7 when the album came out in 1979. I didn't hear any radio play until 1980. It may have had radio play at the end of 1979 but I didn't hear it. Sorry if there was confusion.
  24. Arkay_East

    Arkay_East Forum Resident

    I didn't hear it all the way through prior to seeing the film so I don't think I could really separate them. I remember the film was unsettling when I saw it and after some psychedelic experiences in college I never revisited it. I don't like the album, don't own a copy and don't listen to it. Otherwise, I'm a fan of most PF material. But yeah, it's a no for me. Repeat listens didn't help. I like Run Like Hell but that's it really.
  25. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Zack Island
    Yeah, I wasn't sure about that when I wrote the earlier post. Anyway, the song's original length would've been 2 minutes. Pretty short.

Share This Page